If you are a family caregiver for an elderly loved one who lives alone at home, the upcoming holidays will mean you’ll want to make sure that their home is safely decorated. Putting out all of the holiday décor is a big part of making a home feel festive and welcome. But with an aging loved one, you also need to make sure you are not creating any undue risks that may cause harm to them during the holiday season. Elder care can help ensure your senior’s safety during the holidays.

Before you break out all of those crates of holiday decorations, take some time to review these safety tips first.

The Christmas Tree

If your elderly loved one enjoys having a tree to hang all of her favorite ornaments from, make sure the tree is safe. One of the very first things to do is to determine which kind of tree your loved one will have – real or artificial. A real tree requires extra care so that it doesn’t become a fire hazard. Will your loved one be able to water it daily to keep the branches from drying out or should you ask an elder care provider to come to the home to help with this chore? If an artificial tree is chosen, make sure you choose one that is fire-resistant so that if any of the lights happen to get too warm, it’ll be less likely to catch fire.

Finally, don’t forget, that real or artificial, the tree should not be closer than three feet to any fire sources (like the fireplace or the stove), and nothing with any actual flame should be used on or near the tree (such as candles).

Holiday Lights

Holiday lights are a great way to make a room or home festive for the season. Choosing the right lights for both inside and outside is important. Only indoor lights should be used indoors and only outdoor lights should be used outdoors. If shopping with an elder care provider for new lights, they should read the labels and make sure the right kind is purchased.

Remember to watch where those cords are for lights as well. Often holiday lights are hung in places where there aren’t outlets nearby (like around windows or door frames). Have your elder care provider help by taping down all cords and making sure no cords cross a walking path.

Holiday Candles

Your loved one may love a candle scented with pine or cinnamon over the holidays, but make sure she remembers to only burn the candle when she’s awake (always snuff it when leaving the candle) and to be careful where she places it when using it. A candle should not have anything near it that could potentially catch fire if a draft were to cause the flame to grow.

Following these rules will ensure your loved one remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

Daylight Savings Time is approaching and even though it’s wonderful to get an extra hour of daylight during the spring and summer, making the time switch can be physically and mentally difficult for seniors. Studies have shown that just losing that one hour of sleep and getting up an hour earlier can increase the risk of heart attack. And for seniors who typically have more trouble sleeping than other groups losing an hour of sleep can have a big impact on their cognitive skills and mental health. Here are a few ways that you or a personal care at home provider can help your senior loved one adjust to Daylight Savings Time:

Ease Into The Time Change

One of the most jarring things about the time change for Daylight Savings Time is how quickly it happens. You can help your senior loved one adjust to the time change by changing the times when they get up and go to bed in 15 minute increments starting about a week before Daylight Savings Time begins. A personal care at home provider can help your senior by waking them 15 minutes earlier than usual or helping them get to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. And then after a couple of days of that schedule it can be adjusted to getting up 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 15 minutes earlier again. Over the course of about two weeks your senior loved one’s internal clock will safely shift to adapt to the new schedule.

Keep Routines The Same

Keeping your senior loved one’s morning and bedtime routines the same regardless of the time will help them adjust to Daylight Savings Time. It’s the routine that helps signal to their brain that it’s time to wake up or time to go to sleep so keeping their morning and bedtime routines the same will keep the signals consistent and provide some stability to make the change easier.

Avoid Naps

The first few days your senor loved one may be very tired or tired and irritable during the day. Even though they may want to sleep during the day try to keep them awake and active during the day. That will help them be tired enough at night to sleep through the night and get adjusted to the time change. If you are gone at work during the day a personal care at home provider can help keep your senior parent from taking naps by engaging them in playing games, watching movies, or taking them out for a walk.

Cut Back On Caffeine

Any substances like caffeine that can interfere with sleep or act like a stimulant should be avoided during the transition to Daylight Savings Time. If your senior loved one isn’t about to give up their coffee in the morning that’s fine, but encourage them to drink tea throughout the day instead of more coffee or drinks like sodas that have caffeine in them.


If you or an aging loved one is considering personal care at home in Woodbury, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

As you take care of your elderly loved one, you will likely be over at their house quite a bit. Even if you live farther away, you will likely see your elderly loved one’s home over video chats. When you see their home, you should take some time to look at the placement of furniture, how bright the house is, and other aspects of the home. Many senior citizens need home modifications to help them stay safe and comfortable. Your elderly loved one might need these modifications in their house, too.

Improving the Lighting

One of the home modifications that your elderly loved one might need is improved lighting. There are a lot of senior citizens who can’t see well. As the hours slip away and the house starts getting darker, if the lighting isn’t bright enough, your elderly loved one could easily trip and fall. The safest option would be to get better lighting in their home. There are numerous ways this can be done. You can place lamps throughout your elderly loved one’s house. You can also put motion sensor lighting or nightlights throughout the home, too.

Put Safety First by Removing Clutter

Your elderly loved one might enjoy keeping a lot of things such as electronics, furniture, collectibles, papers, and other things. It is okay for people to enjoy doing this to hold onto memories or to keep things that are important to them. However, if these belongings are starting to make a mess in your elderly loved one’s home, it would be a good idea to go through it all with them. Explain to your elderly loved one that clutter can increase the risk of a fall, a fire in the house, and increase stress of everyone in the home, too. Your elderly loved one doesn’t have to get rid of everything. However, even going through it all and organizing things can help a great deal.

Cleaning the Entryway and Bedroom

Two of the places where your elderly loved one will be at a lot are the entryway and bedroom. These two rooms should be kept clean and organized as much as possible. Some things that you can get to help your elderly loved one do this include:

  • Shoe rack
  • Coat hanger
  • Cubed organizers
  • Hangers
  • Portable closet

These modifications can help your elderly loved one to keep their entryway and bedroom clean. If needed, you or a companion care at home provider can remind your elderly loved one or help them to keep these areas of their home clean each day or week.


There are many home modifications that could help your elderly loved one to be safer and more comfortable. The options above are a good place to start if you are helping your elderly loved one to achieve this goal.


If you or an aging loved one is considering companion care at home in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.